Going For Social Media Gold During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Rio 2016 Olympics Social Media Tips

Social media managers and digital marketers, take note. We are in the midst of another of those all-too-rare moments when a global phenomenon makes the process of getting your brand noticed across the world far simpler - the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

By their very nature, global events and sporting tournaments bring the global community together, encouraging discussions on social media that surpass the normal limitations of day-to-day work. For that reason, they continue to be brilliant avenues for marketing campaigns. The simple act of getting involved in those discussions can be enough to dramatically increase the reach of brands of all shapes and sizes.

In previous tournaments we have seen some companies and organisations really push the boundaries in their campaigns. The London 2012 Olympic Games was something of a turning point for digital marketing - you need only take one look at Coca-Cola’s “Move to the Beat” campaign, which took cross-channel content marketing to another level by using music as a key component in uniting their younger target audience around an inherently social, global event.

Licensed ambush marketing for Rio 2016

One of the most interesting and significant changes that consumers and businesses will be seeing around this year’s games, is that big brands have been given permission to form marketing campaigns around the Olympics, regardless of whether or not they are official sponsors. There are, however, restrictions where this so-called “licensed ambush marketing” is concerned, such as using symbols and mentioning terms such as “gold”.

So where should the priorities of businesses who want to cash in on the games lie? By following a few general guidelines, you can expect to see maximum return on your campaigns…

Embracing the spirit of over-achieving

Your social media campaigns should be completely in-keeping with the spirit of the games. There is something of an agreed rhetoric of positivity; an air of innate ability and motivation to achieve more. It stands to reason that to gain traction alongside other campaigns, your own content will need to share that rhetoric. Social media marketers will be no strangers to motivational content as they already understand the capabilities of positive messages on social networking.

Focussing on real-time events to inspire engagement

The idea of a completely ‘social’ Olympics is one that relies on active participation by users. In order for campaigns to grow, they need to be centred on engaging your target audience. Successful campaigns from the 2012 Olympics showed us that users are no longer content with being spectators of global tournaments - they want to be participants. This means focussing on real-time events as they unfold. Social media has transformed the idea of what’s topical from entire events right down to what’s happening in those events at this precise moment.

All-but forgetting about products

The kind of stories we should be focussing in-on are not at all product-centred. Brands need to instead look at real lives - the people who engage with the games and their journeys. The Olympics is a chance to align your branding with a positive message of togetherness and achievement, not shout about sales.

Wherever you’re based, engaging with the Olympics on social media is a sure-fire way to increase your reach. Any questions? Hit us up - @GiraffeSM.

Editor - 

Mark is our resident content marketing specialist, what this guy doesn't know isn't worth knowing. His biggest passion is for enacting positive social change through media. In his spare time he is also a keen comedy writer and singer.

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